(This Post was written on Saturday by School Board member Robert Ohneiser after attending a LCPS employee’s funeral, but I neglected to post it up until now. I sincerely apologize for the delay. Thank you Bob for your contribution! – P13)
Can you really have a family of four thousand members most of whom are teachers?
I am now a believer. This morning (Saturday – P13), the Christ the Redeemer Church was filled to the brim with teary eyed family members which I believe were mostly teachers and administrators of the Loudoun County School System. As a school board member I attended the funeral of Laurie McDonald out of respect/admiration for her contribution to our community over some 38 years.
While listening to the positive comments by her peers regarding the fun they had at principal meetings I realized that school board members have been denied access to such meetings even if we promise to sit quietly on the side of the room to observe. Not only are school board members denied such access to the information flow among the leaders of the school sytem but now I realize that as a person of interest I had been denied the opportunity to see the McPrincipals in action. (McManus, McGinley and McDonald). Perhaps being able to watch the leaders of the school system is such a way might have allowed a better chance to viscerally appreciate what this wonderful woman brought to her job everyday. The setting today was impressive and I am convinced the teachers of Loudoun County have formed a bond that even death has a tough time breaking.
If I have the privilege of serving for another term on the school board I am going to revisit the level of transparency with which the school system is run and ask for a vote of the new members to allow any of us at any time to have access to management meetings. With a student population fast approaching 70,000, an employee base of nearly 10,000 with a yearly budget approaching $800 Million one has to start to question if school board members can really stay engaged in their representative responsibilities by having the primary source of their information delivered through one person’s perspective.
I was very proud of our school system today because at its heart are people who are truly caring of each other and of our children just like a good family would.